Numerous awards are annually dedicated to various collegiate athletes, but none give college players a bigger sense of achievement than two awards, the Heisman and Lott IMPACT trophies. David Meltzer
Having your name associated with football greats such as Charles Woodson, Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders and J.J. Watt, most college players can only dream of the privilege of being honored in such a fashion.
The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football whose “performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” This year, the Alabama Crimson Tide’s Derrick Henry tied Eddie George as the tallest listed running back (6’3”) to win the Heisman. There was little doubt the dominant running back, who set an SEC record with 1,986 yards to end his junior campaign, and who played a major factor in Alabama’s 12-1 record, would be named this year’s Heisman winner. Henry stated: “This is a dream come true. I made this a goal a long time ago but didn’t think I’d do it…I am very thankful and blessed.”
The Lott IMPACT trophy, an award that exemplifies “Integrity Maturity Performance Academics Community and Tenacity” (IMPACT), is the first college defensive player trophy (introduced in 2004) that exemplifies and honors personal character as well as academic performance and is the first national college football award based on the West Coast. The trophy is named after Ronnie Lott, a two-time All-American for USC and college football Hall of Famer, who won 4 Super Bowls with the 49ers and made 10 trips to the Pro Bowl, and was known as a fierce competitor both on and off the field, this award symbolizes “leadership and discipline.” This year Penn State’s defensive end Carl Nassib had the privilege of Ronnie Lott handing him the 12th annual award. A former walk-on, Nassib led the country in sacks and has already been the recipient of the Lombardi Award. Nassib will graduate Penn State in 3 years with a degree in Biology. David Meltzer
A blade of grass grows from the soft, warm, moist soil until it hits the Earth’s surface with a tremendous amount of resistance. Eventually, through continual effort, the blade of grass breaks through the tough exterior of rock and minerals to grow without resistance high into the sky.
Both winners described above are “blades of grass”, with Henry dreaming and working towards his goal for years, and Nassib not giving up as a walk-on and becoming the best defensive end in the nation, these stories demonstrate how anyone can achieve whatever goals they set and desire by applying themselves through discipline and and having the persistence to keep pushing up until they carry out their dreams!
Congratulations to Henry and Nassib on being awarded this year’s top trophy winners!
By: David Meltzer